Reply to "VIDEO, A-V Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Joseph"

Joseph in Canaan

Video Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will learn the story of Joseph. They will then watch and discuss a video based on the story and discuss differences with the account in the Bible.


1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders will watch excerpts from "Joseph Prince of Dreams".


4th and 5th graders will watch excerpts from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".


They will discuss how God was with Joseph, just as He is with us today.


Scripture Reference:

Genesis 37:1-36; 39:1-6b

Memory Verse:

Romans 8:28a

Key Concepts and Life Application
The children will:

  1. Identify Genesis as the first book in the Old Testament; locating the story in Genesis
  2. Retell the story in their own words – identifying story characters and their feelings.
  3. Explain how jealousy erupted in Joseph’s family. Learn how feelings can separate us from family and friends.
  4. Learn that each of us is a favorite in the eyes of God.
  5. Understand that God loves us and is never separated from us, no matter what happens.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read “Teaching with Video” by Neil MacQueen, Sunday Software,
  • Preview the video so you can utilize two of Neil’s key showing tips:
    • Use the PAUSE button at key places. It's your most powerful "video" teaching tool, not only to make sure they get it, but to give their brains time to process what they've just seen before they move on. Some kid’s videos are breathless in pace.
    • Don't be afraid to view an important scene a second time. Kids (and adults) watch movies over and over all the time. Point out facial expressions, reactions, things happening in the background, etc.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Whiteboard marker and eraser
  • Bibles – minimally one for every two children.
  • DVD: Joseph King of Dreams, Dreamworks, 2000
  • DVD: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Universal, 2000
  • “What to Watch for Charts”

Filler Materials

  • One bag of popcorn

Advanced Preparation Requirements:

  • Prepare the popcorn and get pitcher of water from the kitchen.
  • Save one bag of popcorn for the time filler.
  • Cue the DVD to the starting point for the lesson.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade Joseph King of Dreams 1:15 A hawk flies away and you see Jacob and one of his sons by a tree.
  • 4th and 5th Grade Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Ch 4 “Joseph and Sons” song
  • Get Bibles from the hall cabinet. You need at least one Bible for every two children. You can ask each child to get their own and return it at the end of class. Also encourage them to bring their own Bibles.




Opening- Welcome and Introductions

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance, etc. This can all happen quietly while you are starting your lesson.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:



We are learning (continuing to learn) about the story of Joseph and about how he was the only one in his family to receive a fancy coat from his father. We’ll also look at how his brothers reacted. Today we’re going to watch a video about this story.

First, let’s begin with prayer.
A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for this day. Thank you for sending Jesus to always be with us. We feel comforted when we remember you always love us. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”
Show the box the video came in.


ASK:  1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders:
Has anyone ever seen this video, Joseph, King of Dreams?


ASK:  4th and 5th graders:
Has anyone ever seen this video, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?



This video tells a Bible story.
What can you tell me about the story of Joseph?
See how much of the story your group knows. On the white board easel, draw words and symbols to represent the different parts of the story as they are offered. At this time, don’t fill in any left out portions of the story.
Do you know where in the Bible would we find this story? In the Old Testament; in Genesis
The Old Testament includes stories that happened before Jesus was born. In fact, Jesus would have learned this story when he was your age.
We find our story in the first book of the Old Testament. Does anyone know what the first book of the Old Testament is? Genesis
Distribute Bibles. One to every two children is fine.
We say that the book of Genesis is part of a collection of Bible books called “Law.” Law books include the first five books of the Bible. They are called the books of Law because they include the commandments or laws that God revealed to his people.
When we watch our video we’re going to be checking to see how well it tells the story from the Bible. So let’s find our story in Genesis.
Have them find Genesis, chapter 37.
This is a long story. In order to have enough time to watch our video, we are just going to read parts from the Bible. I encourage all of you to read this story at home this week. It covers all of chapter 37 and the first part of chapter 39.
Based on how much of the story the students knew, read only the portions that were missed, interspersed with reiterating what the students have told you (referring to what was written on the white board). Just going over the highlights may be sufficient.

Highlights If needed, read referenced scripture.


• In our story, Jacob is the father. He has 12 sons and one daughter.
• Jacob (who was also called Israel) lived in the land of Canaan.
• Jacob’s favorite son was Joseph. Jacob gave Joseph a beautiful coat. (Genesis 37:3-4)
• Joseph had a dream that made his brother’s angry with him.(Genesis 37:6-8)
• Joseph had another dream that made his father wonder what it meant(Genesis 37:9-11)
• One day Jacob asked Joseph to check on his brothers who were grazing the sheep some distance away. So, Joseph went to find his brothers. His brothers saw him coming – it must have been because of the colorful coat. (Genesis 37:19-20)
• Reuben, the oldest brother, suggested throwing Joseph into a pit. Reuben was thinking that he would secretly rescue Joseph.
• So the brothers took Joseph’s coat and threw him into a pit.
• Then the brothers calmly had some supper! And they saw some traders coming who were on their way to Egypt.
• The brothers sold Joseph to the traders. (Genesis 37:28)
• Joseph’s brothers killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s fancy coat in its blood. They took the coat to their father who recognized it as Joseph’s coat. Jacob was very sad for a long time.
• Meanwhile, Joseph was sold in Egypt. (Genesis 37:36)


1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade DVD: Joseph King of Dreams
There is a bit more to our story but let’s watch the video. Keep your Bibles open.


NOTE: The showing of the video and the discussion was taken directly from Carol Hulbert. "Joseph’s Coat: Video Workshop." Jan. 2010. Copyright 2010, First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. It is not repeated in this lesson.

Because I know the ending of this story, I can tell you that this story of Joseph teaches us how to deal with difficulty in our lives. Always remember that God loves you and is always with you no matter what.

4th and 5th Grade DVD: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
There is a bit more to our story but let’s watch the video. Keep your Bibles open. Note that this video pretends that the story is a play – actually an opera because everything is sung – that is being performed for a school program. There is a Narrator that helps tell the story; this is a woman with blond hair.

START at Ch 4 (Previously cued) Point out Narrator and Jacob without stopping video. The women with the funny hats are all of his wives.
PAUSE at 13.24 Song ends with “…and blue!” and the screen turns blue.


  • What can you tell about Jacob and his sons? Allow all responses
  • Which son does Jacob love the most? Joseph
  • What does jealousy mean? Feeling unhappy because of another person’s possessions or advantage
  • Tell me about a time when you felt jealous?
  • What did you do about your feelings of jealousy?
  • Why do you suppose Jacob (the father) played favorites and gave only Joseph a special coat?

    Allow all responses

Jacob had four wives but the Bible tells us that Rachel was his favorite.
One of the things we learn about Joseph is that he has interesting dreams.
Does anyone remember from the Bible story, what Joseph’s first dream is about? His brothers’ wheat bowing down to him- if necessary refer to Genesis 37:6-7)
PLAY Ch 5 Jacob tosses one of his son’s a shepherd’s staff.
PAUSE 16.22 “Dreamer has to go.” Next scene shows Narrator walking in sand dunes.

  • What are the two dreams? Brother’s sheaths of wheat bow to Joseph’s; brother’s stars bow to Joseph’s.
  • How did Joseph share his dreams? What was his attitude? He was bragging about his dreams. He thought they meant big things were coming for him.

In the Bible, is doesn’t say that Joseph bragged. Most movies show it that way because that’s what we imagine happened. But we really don’t know.

  • How did the brothers react? Accept answers.
  • How would you have felt? Accept answers.

PLAY Ch 6 Narrator is walking in sand dunes.
STOP  24:31 End of song. “die”

  • What do the brothers do when Joseph shows up? Allow any answers. Plan to kill Joseph.
  • What causes them to change their mind? They see Ishmaelite traders and sell him to them.
  • What do they do to Joseph’s coat? Rip it and dip it in blood.

So the lies begin. They sell Joseph as a slave and then plot to tell their father Jacob that he died.

  • Based on the movie, do you think they were sad?
  • Based on the Bible, do you think they were sad?
  • How do you think Joseph is feeling right now?
  • How do you think Jacob is feeling?

Refer to the key Bible verse on the bulletin board. Have students say it with you: We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. Romans 8:28a
That little “a” after the 28 means that we stop reading after the first sentence in that is in verse 28.
Have students say the verse again.
Things don’t look very good for Joseph right now – his brothers have sold him as a slave and his father thinks that he’s dead. All his life Joseph has been told that he is special, that God has a plan for him.

  • Do you suppose that Joseph is wondering what God’s plan is at this point?
  • Have you ever felt like you were in a desperate situation? Allow any replies
  • Who can tell us about a time when you wondered what God’s plan was for you?

You may never have felt like you didn’t know what was going to happen to you, but no matter what, know that God is with you. God was with Joseph. Listen to this…
Do you suppose Joseph is feeling pretty desperate?
All his life Joseph has been told that he is special, that God has a plan for him.
Read to them Genesis 39:2a.
The Lord was with Joseph. He gave him great success.

Because I know the ending of this story, I can tell you that this story of Joseph teaches us how to deal with difficulty in our lives. Always remember that God loves you and is always with you no matter what.


Reflecting and Closing

Suggestions for the closing prayer

Tidy and Dismissal:
Ask children to help tidy up. Close the door and turn off the lights. Store your materials back in the cabinet.

Filler Time (Use only if you need it):
Pass the Popcorn, Please
Review the Bible Verse, Romans 8:28, with the children. Say a phrase, have them repeat it. Do this a few times. Then have children stand in a circle. Give the bag of popcorn to one child. That child says the first word of the verse, takes one piece of popcorn and passes the box to the next child. Second child says second word, and so on until the verse is completed. The child who is next in the circle gets to say the entire verse. Children continue passing popcorn and saying the verse.

The “Overview” and “1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade DVD” portion of this lesson were obtained from:
• Hulbert, Carol. "Joseph’s Coat: Video Workshop." Jan. 2010. < > Copyright 2010, First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.

MacQueen, Neil. "A Brief Introduction to Teaching with Video.” 2002.

The remaining portion of this lesson was written by Ann L. Wright, Children’s Ministry Director, Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC,


A lesson written by Ann Wright from Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church

Raleigh, NC



A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.



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